Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Friday, 8 August 2014

What is a Feminist?

First of all I would like to thank James for the link to this article in the New Yorker and to Janet for the link to this article in the New Statesman criticizing the first one.   Sometimes I get confused!   For me one of the core questions in all this is what is a feminist?   I have always worked on the theory that a Feminist strives for a world in which everyone is treated with equal respect, has equal opportunities in live and work, and enjoys equal freedom under the law and in society.   If that is the case then I am a feminist, and indeed always have been.   It is only really since I have been physically exploring my femininity that I have become truly aware that although every one in the Country does enjoy equality under the law women are a long way from enjoying equal respect and freedom.

As I go out I am now very much aware that there are places I can go with total security as a man but as a woman I feel vulnerable, pubs, clubs, streets, some only after dark, some at any time.   There are whole areas of London that I feel nervous about going into on my own, whereas as a bloke there is nowhere that I can't go.   Make no mistake it is not yet an equal world.   It has been suggested to me that some people would feel reluctant to give me some of the more physical work I do once I transition, yet I am sure that there is nothing I do as a bloke in the way of work that I could not do equally well as a woman, maybe I would need bigger levers, but that's no problem.

I think most people now do not exercise any conscious sexism, but there can still be a sub-concious sexism, (and indeed racism) in the way we think.   There is still a need for feminism, but does it need to be in opposition to men?   For me men are not the enemy, attitudes are.   If the aim of Feminism is to do away with sexism then surely we should all be feminists and part of the aim is to promote a world where everybody has the social opportunity as well as the legal right to dress and identify how they feel most comfortable.

Or maybe I am confusing Feminism and Liberalism?

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